FTP Client: FileZilla

Like many website designers, I used and relied upon Ipswitch’s WS_FTP file transfer software for many years. It’s the “industry standard.” It’s modestly-priced — now about $55 — shareware that’s frequently updated, versatile, and secure. And over the years, I tried other freeware and shareware file transfer clients, mostly for clients with less rigorous needs, and found them slow, lacking features, or just plain ponderous.

Recently, faced with rebuilding my primary desktop and another Ipswitch paid upgrade pending, I decided to sample the alternatives again. I looked at CuteFTP, SmartFTP, Core FTP, and for a while even used FireFTP, a Mozilla Firefox add-on. All were suitable for limited-duty. But none satisfied this old nerd’s hunger for a speedy, well-behaved, small footprint FTP client with just enough features and security.

As you know from the title of this post, that was then. FileZilla is now. It’s well-supported (wikis, forums, bug and feature requests) open source software that’s lightning fast to load and to function. Hey, fast is important when you’re updating more than one or two files at a time. It’s frequently updated with security patches, bug fixes, and small new features. That’s like tweaks, not bloat. It’s intuitive for both right- and left-brained types. It never crashes. And did I mention, it’s fast?

Three things I especially find helpful in FileZilla:

  • Cross platform support means I can use the same client on pretty much any machine I’m working on.
  • Easy to use site manager makes adding a new site simple, selecting an existing site, simpler.
  • Remote file editing so I can do quick fixes for a client on the fly.
  • Drag and drop support is built-in, not quirky like some, and not slow

If you try FileZilla and find yourself loving it as I do, don’t forget to support it. It’s free to use, but not a throwaway. It’s a thoroughly professional project whose developers deserve to get paid for their efforts.

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